De-Monotized

*sigh*

Over the weekend I noticed this message pop-up on my YouTube channel:

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 1.34.07 PM

I had heard originally that YouTube was making this plan but figured that I would be/had been grandfathered in, which is why I was both getting ads on my videos and making money from ads on my videos for the past five months. It isn’t so much the money that frustrates me about this situation as much as it is that because of an error on Google’s part, I’m suddenly not going to be making anything on videos until I hit some random arbitrary lifetime view count (which spoiler I’m 7,449 views away from) before I’m allowed to even potentially earn money for the videos I make. It’s worth noting that YouTube won’t even send a check for anything less than $100 anyway, so I now have to make considerably more content (without hope of payment for the foreseeable future) before I can even attempt to start to get money back.

I know that YouTube and Google don’t owe me anything, they don’t have to pay people at all, but it’s odd to me that as the company has gotten larger and more popular rather than doing more for its creators it’s somehow managed to screw them over more instead. I love doing YouTube, and I would do it money or not, but I have to wonder, why should I no longer make money because I haven’t hit enough viewers to ‘earn it?’

 

We Have a Problem

mon
I_transpn the beginning of this nonsensical, asinine debate over bathrooms I was kind of thinking, okay, this is stupid, but it can’t last right? To my dismay however, and frankly, indignation, not only has this not gone away, it’s gotten impossibly worse! From a cis-woman being stared down while using the restroom by another cis-woman ‘you know in case she was secretly a man’, to the burning of Dr. Pierre Brassard’s Clinic in Montreal, we have a REAL goddamn problem here. And to be quite honest, enough is enough.

This has never been about protecting anyone and as much as we would like to pretend otherwise, it’s just simply not the case. Facts and figures haven’t been enough to reason with people, and frankly neither have personal stories from actual trans people or seeing how these bullshit bills actually AFFECT real lives rather than the ‘theoretical effect’ not having them would pose on cis people.

Apparently not even losing MILLIONS for North Carolina was enough to get them to see, HEY THIS IS STUPID! This is not an argument to be having in 2016, this isn’t an argument to be having in 1916!

Look I grant you change is scary, but the thing of it is, this isn’t some new thing. You may be just hearing about trans people in your restroom for the first time, but that doesn’t make it NEW! Like the rest of the LGBT community we’ve been around, using restrooms since the beginning of time.

We need to take a very hard look at ourselves and our priorities at the current moment, because this is not our biggest problem by far, we have a man who is very likely to become the nominee for a party that has always been out of touch but who has crossed into entirely new territory with this one, and that could mean A LOT bigger problems down the road. This is not just a scare tactic used by bigots, it’s also a diversionary tactic against much larger issues, and somehow a lot of people have fallen for it. But as a trans person, I’m not here to be the GOP scapegoat, while members of their own party are actually out there doing shit in bathrooms, or have we just forgotten about Senator Larry Craig? Or Congressman John Hinson? Or Representative Bob Allen?

The list goes on.

And this is not to say Democrats don’t have sex scandals, but they’re not the ones trying to keep trans people out of the bathroom over an unfounded fear mongering campaign, that is unacceptable and out of control.

And for those cisgender people who have stood by our side, and stood with us, I say thank you. Thank you for your support. But we need more. That people signed on to boycott Target for their inclusive bathroom policy is simply unacceptable. We need to do better, and our cis-LGB brothers and sisters need to stand with us more, because we’re all in this together. Just remember, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, both trans women, stood up for you during the Stonewall Riots, now it’s time to repay the favor, and stand up for their children and grandchildren.

It Get’s Better Isn’t Enough

In the Fall of 2010, Dan Savage and Terry Miller launched the itgetsbetter.org, after several incidents of LGBTQIA+ students being bullied led to multiple suicides during the course of that year. At the heart of their campaign was a simple premise, using the power of YouTube to create videos for LGBTQIA+ youth who were currently facing difficulty with bullying, with the message ‘It Get’s Better’. Within a matter of months the It Get’s Better Project took over the web as a slurry of celebrities and major corporations including Disney, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Pixar came out in support of the project and filmed videos with their LGBTQIA+ identified employees, and their accounts of bullying and how, now as an adult life had gotten better for them.

Unfortunately for Savage and Co. a positive slogan and celebrity endorsements has lead to few actual policy changes. While many schools have adopted a Zero Tolerance Policy with regards to bullying of any kind, bullying at school is only a fraction of the equation and more often than not this zero tolerance policy is poorly, if at all, enforced. Worse still for far too many in the community this message came too little and far too late. Further more the specific focus on bullying towards gay and lesbian youth, with seemingly little to no mention of LGBTQIA+ persons who identify as bisexual, trans, non binary, gender queer or anywhere else on the gender identity and sexuality spectrums alienates large swaths of the community.

It is the simplicity of the idea that, at some indiscriminate time in your future things will look up, that makes the message at best, a heartwarming yet disingenuous attempt at ‘change’ and at worst facile. To suggest that if you could only hold on for one more day, ‘the sun will come out tomorrow’ (which is in essence, the theory behind it get’s better if you break it down) undermines the very reality of what it is like for LGBTQIA+ persons growing up in households where they are not treated with kindness, love, and compassion. Its oversimplified idea that high school is short, and once it’s over everything will turn around completely misses the fact that high school ending is not the end of harassment for many in the LGBTQIA+ community, especially those who are trans and gender nonconforming.

It’s simply not acceptable to suggest that things will get better, some day, we don’t know when but it will someday. While corporations and celebrities offering their support is a beautiful message, it does not help the small town trans girl, growing up in a religious household where she is constantly either ignored or outright psychologically tortured, and forced into reparative therapy or other dangerous religious zealotry in the hopes of ‘curing’ their child. These messages do not help the girl who fell in love with her best friend, who now hates her, and is receiving constant messages on social media and through email and text calling her a dyke. This does not help those outside of America, many of whom are killed or imprisoned by their government for being gay or trans.

In light of the recent death of Leelah Alcorn, and far too many like her, some of whom ended their lives and some of whom had their lives ended for them, the simple message of it get’s better is no longer acceptable. We need to do better. Especially within the LGBTQIA+ community. We owe it to ourselves, and to our youth, and to those who have died to make sure that we can stand here, out loud and proud, to make sure that their lives were not for nothing. We owe it to them, to the all too often forgotten, to give their life meaning.

It was Leelah’s wish that her death be added to the number of trans suicides for this year. The exact figures are tricky to calculate, but it’s estimated that somewhere between 42-50% of trans people will attempt or succeed in committing suicide. That’s fucked up, moreover it’s unacceptable. Leelah deserved better, the LGBTQIA+ community deserves better. If you or someone you know is LGBTQIA+ and is contemplating suicide, please contact:

Trans Lifeline: (877) 565-8860

The Trevor Project Crisis Hotline: 866-488-7386.

In closing: I am Narcissa Deville I’m a trans woman, author, blogger, and graphic designer, huge Madonna fan, lover of all things RuPaul, makeup addict and I am a #RealLiveTransAdult.